Socialtext Spam

(Rant warning.) What’s it called again when you can’t unsubscribe from a service that sends you email almost every day? This is broken:

  1. I get my daily email about changes in the LoicLeMeur Wiki that I signed up for sometime at Les Blogs.
  2. “To stop receiving or change how often you receive emails about changes
    to LoicLeMeur Wiki, go to: “
  3. Redirects me to this URL.
  4. It appears that I am logged in. I change my preferences to “Never”
  5. Of course when I go to my settings it shows me as “user78247”, so I didn’t actually cancel my subscription, it just showed a stupid subscription page to me even though it obviously doesn’t have my email address right now and I’m not logged in.
  6. Okay, click the “log in” link.
  7. Type in email and password.
  8. I am now mysteriously redirected to the FOAFnet wiki, which hasn’t been touched in like a year. NO IDEA WHY.
  9. Wait, the top still has a login button, but also a settings button?
  10. Settings takes me to the user page for “user19254”, even though I JUST LOGGED IN.
  11. Okay, click login again.
  12. Now I’m redirected back to the FOAFnet wiki again but this time it shows me as being logged in.
  13. Where the heck do I go now???
  14. I go back to the Loic wiki via the address bar.
  15. It says login in the top right corner again.
  16. I enter my information, and am redirected by to the FOAFnet wiki. I can sense the wiki mocking me.
  17. Okay, maybe if I go back to my settings page where it worked.
  18. It forces me to login to the FOAFnet wiki AGAIN even though I did just SECONDS AGO.
  19. I now am logged in, I click on settings and go to “My Workspaces.”
  20. It only shows the FOAFnet wiki, even though I know I’m a member of the Loic one because I GET EMAILS FROM IT EVERY DAY.
  21. Also now for some reason every Socialtext wiki I try to visit, like this one from Web 2.0 conference, redirects me back to the FOAFnet wiki. (cue blood-curdling scream)

Any suggestions? I would just dev/null them in my procmail, but I prefer not to do that to legitimate companies. At what points could the user experience be improved?

(And yes, I have reported this problem to them. I demonstrated it in person in August 2005 at BarCamp. It’s January.)

Update: Socialtext responds in the comments. “[T]his morning we disabled email notifications for all the public wikis on our site, due to the confusion people had when trying to turn them off.” A thoughtful, effective, and quick response.

6 replies on “Socialtext Spam”

  1. I ran into something similar back in October and it turned out I wasn’t logged in when I thought I was… It let me change my settings while not being logged in. So I kept setting my prefs and kept getting email.

    Not sure why something so simple to fix has been around for so long.

  2. Thanks for the feedback Matt, we are aware that this area is currently a bit confusing. You should be happy to know that this morning we disabled email notifications for all the public wikis on our site, due to the confusion people had when trying to turn them off. We also have some improvements planned for several of the issues you ran into above. Please do let us know at if you run into any other difficulty in using Socialtext, or have any ideas for improvement.

    John Thompson
    Socialtext Support

  3. Just bin those. Some companies voluntarily ‘decide’ to subscribe you and make unsubscription paths difficult and/or poorly tested. Call that “aggressive” if you will. Such messages should go to spam to spam@domain, which is emptied every week after q quick eye glance.

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